Yesterday did not turn out as planned. At all. I was on my way to take Squish to Parents’ Day Out so I could take my volunteer shift with the tortoises at the zoo. One of the most awesome things I get to do outside my house. Didn’t happen. When I stopped at the corner station to fill up the tank, the car refused to start. No click, no “rur-rur-rur” of a dying battery. Just nothing. Electrical system dead. Normally this would not be a huge deal. Never mind that my husband works 45 minutes away. I am a resourceful person. I can handle little things like this.
Except I couldn’t. The last few weeks has been a little tough, and I felt myself totally tapped out. (Hang with me. This isn’t a pity party. No, for real.) I stood helplessly in front of my van wondering what in the world I was going to do. The garage that we have used for the last several years has hit new levels of rudeness, and we’re not quite sure they did the last repair that they charged us for. I was a couple of miles away from home with my toddler. It’s within walking distance, but it’s a long walk down a busy, busy road. I needed to get home, though. I knew that getting onto my own turf would buy me some time to think, at least. Or at least the privacy to fall apart. What I really wanted was to get in touch with my husband and turn the whole ordeal over to him. Truth be told, what I really wanted was for him to just come home and hold me on the couch.
The attendant in the booth came out to see if she could help. When she realized that she couldn’t, she offered me her phone. Not the store’s phone. Her fancy smart-ish kind of phone. She told me I could keep it with me while I tried to get things figured out. Then she called a bunch of guys from the affiliated grocery store to help me move the car to a safe place. And then several of them offered to take me home. I tearfully, gratefully accepted. A college-aged kid got permission from his manager, then strapped Squish’s car seat in the back of his jeep and drove us home.
When I got the opportunity, I posted on Facebook asking friends for garage recommendations. Lame, maybe. Time saver, definitely. If you don’t know who to ask, why not ask everyone at once? Several friends chimed in with the same recommendation, which also happened to be really close by. Like, I could walk there. Long story short (oh, too late. Sorry.) I was left astounded at the kindness of strangers and friends alike. Floored.
My day didn’t turn out as planned. We couldn’t pick the car up until late, so we missed our church activities. I regret that part the most. But I learned that sometimes it takes a little adversity to see just how blessed I am. It’s a good lesson, really.
I keep thinking back to our lesson in class on Sunday. One of the verses was 2 Corinthians 4:8…
WAKE UP!!! Sorry. I know sometimes when someone tosses in a Bible verse, I feel my eyes getting a little heavy. But hang with me. I’m not going all preachy and stuff. You still there? Good.
So as I was saying, the little part that speaks to me most says “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. ”
Not crushed. Know what that tidbit makes me think of? The ants in my kitchen. I can’t get rid of them. I’ve tried bait boxes, sprays, heck, I’ve even tried stomping them. Ever notice that when you try to stomp a tiny ant, you rarely succeed? Those critters are teeny little specks in this universe, but a shoe, a fly swatter, a rock can’t crush them. Not only are they nearly impossible to squash, they can carry impossibly large loads – like, fifty times their own weight. And when the burden is too large for them to bear on their own, they have other ants to help them.
This week, I realize that I am an ant. A tiny, itsy, bitsy ant. But I am not alone. When I am in danger of being squashed flat by the weight that I bear, God sends other ants to help me carry it. I need to remember that. I am an ant. I gotta quit trying to be a cockroach. But that’s an entomological blog for another day.